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Xavier 2015-2016 Player Preview: James Farr

James Farr could be great, could be average, or could be anywhere in between. Xavier's big has incredible tools, but he remains a tantalizing enigma.

It's hard not to like the guy. That, at least, hasn't changed.
It's hard not to like the guy. That, at least, hasn't changed.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Winston Churchill wasn't talking about James Farr when he said "it is a riddle wrapped inside a mystery inside an enigma" but he could have been. Xavier's big man enters his senior year having been a player who earned 42 minutes of time in a season, a guy who shot 38% from behind the arc, and the player who grabbed an astounding 30.5% of opponent's misses. He's done none of those things in the same season and, just when he seems poised to go one way, he embarks on a new way of utilizing his skill set. Maybe he's poised to finally put it all together in a breakout season, and maybe he'll instead try to block 10% of opponent's shots and play almost no offense. With James Farr, it's impossible to know.

Last year was the one in which Farr dedicated himself to rebounding and started to play some excellent defense. Grabbing 30.5% of opponent's misses was a feat equaled by exactly three other players in college basketball last year. Farr grabbed almost a third of the possible defensive rebounds for Xavier while he was on the floor. That's just astounding. His offensive rebounding rate (11%) was also well above average but almost seems to pale in comparison. Add to that a block rate of a team leading 5.9% and you get a picture of a player dedicated to protecting the rim and cleaning up misses. Unfortunately, Farr's offensive numbers all suffered a serious decline from the year before. James giveth, and he taketh away.

Best-case scenario:

James puts it all together and has an absolutely world beating senior season. In this scenario the fouls continue to trend downward, the shooting comes back, and the newfound excellence on the glass and defense remains. If all that happens, Xavier has a weapon that most teams simply cannot match. Given 11 more minutes per game (to equal what Matt Stainbrook played last year) the best case James Farr would push a double double each night and anchor Xavier's new zone.

Worst-case scenario:

Fouls, no shooting, and too much man to man defense makes James almost an afterthought off the bench. 42 minutes won't happen again, but 10 per game could.

Most likely scenario:

There is nothing likely when discussing Big Game James, but he seemed to find a niche last year. He may not shoot as well as he did in his sophomore season again, but I expect his numbers to come back up there. Look for a commensurate increase in playing time and a season average line somewhere around 6/7/1 with some monster games thrown in. Of course, he may just go and do something completely unexpected...again.